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Google announced “play as you download” on Android 12 devices so players can hop into mobile games and commence playing in the course of a download. And it also mentioned Google Play now reaches more than 2.5 billion gamers.
It’s all about decreasing the friction for players when it comes to playing mobile games — a subject that I lately wrote about in a DeanBeat column.
Google’s Google Play division made the announcement in the course of the Google for Games Summit keynote today, which would have typically taken spot in the course of the Game Developers Conference in March. But the pandemic changed the plans, and Google broke it off from the on the web-only GDC that requires spot next week.
Game organizations such as Utomik have carried out progressive downloads for the Computer for a though, but Google’s move will allow the capability for lots of more mobile game players.
Greg Hartrell, the solution management director for Google Play and Android, mentioned in an interview with GamesBeat that the new download feature significantly speeds up the download and play course of action.
“It enables you to get into gameplay in seconds from the store listing while the game continues to download in the background,” Hartrell mentioned. “This is a vastly improved user experience in Android 12. We saw 400MB games becoming available in the last 10 seconds instead of many minutes. And that’s because we’re streaming assets intelligently in the background.”
On the download feature, Google also developed Play Asset Delivery to make certain players devote much less time waiting for downloads with out sacrificing the good quality of a game. Now, Texture Compression Format Targeting automatically figures out what contemporary compression formats to use to additional minimize a game’s size.
Google Play also revealed other new features for Android gamers. They incorporate a new game dashboard for players to promptly access vital settings though playing games (i.e., getting capable to promptly screen record or adjust brightness, and so forth.).
For developers, new Game Mode application programming interfaces (APIs) will allow them to adapt their games more promptly to the preferences of their players (i.e., optimizing overall performance when they are in a battery saving mode).
A lengthy attain
Hartrell mentioned that Android has reached 3 billion month-to-month active devices, and Play grew to attain 2.5 billion monthly active customers driving 140 billion installations worldwide.
Google announced tools to make game development a lot easier, updates on a expanding ecosystem to assistance get games operating on more screens, and new possibilities to drive go-to-industry results on Google Play.
On Chrome OS this previous year, Google Play usage grew 300%, marking its most significant year of app and game usage considering that it launched Google Play on Chromebooks in 2016. Unity lately introduced help for Chrome OS on Unity 2021.2, with help for Unity 2020 LTS coming later this year.
“There’s a set of regions — Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, and Mexico — that are are growing really fast, with year over year spending at about 70% higher than the rest. Altogether, it’s a tremendous opportunity,” Hartrell mentioned. “And some people can assume that it’s all about mobile, but it’s actually more than that with Chrome OS as a part of that story. It’s the second most-used desktop operating system in the world, with 300% year over year growth. Chromebooks started in 2016. It includes Android tablets as well, where we’ve seen 30% growth year over year usage.”
Other new features
Google also launched the Android Game Development Kit, a complete variety of tools and libraries to assistance creators create, optimize, and provide higher-good quality Android games. In this initial launch, AGDK covers 3 important places.
- Integrated workflows (e.g., a new Visual Studio extension)
- Essential C/C++ game libraries (e.g., the new Game Text Input library)
- Performance optimization (e.g., frame profiler help in our GPU profiler and new loading time help in Android Performance Tuner)
In Android 12, the game dashboard delivers an overlay knowledge with swift access to important utilities in the course of gameplay — like screen capture, recording, and more — and will be offered on pick devices later this year. With Game Mode APIs, developers can react to players deciding on a overall performance profile for their game, such as improved battery life for a lengthy commute or overall performance mode to get peak frame prices.
“Google is focused on helping every game developer make game development easier, regardless of the size from the largest game studios to independent dealers,” Hartrell mentioned.
The Integrate Game Mode APIs will be offered prior to the launch of Android 12 by means of beta releases.
Hartrell mentioned that “reach and devices” is a new information and insights tool to strategy for more results on Google Play. It enables developers to comprehend and predict the distribution of their customers and technical concerns across nations and important device attributes (like Android version, memory, graphics stack, and chipsets). Developers can use it to make the company case for nation and device targeting choices, to spot optimization possibilities, and to set test priorities for the next release.
The Firebase Remote Config lets developers update the behavior and look of their game for diverse audience segments with out releasing a new version. The new personalization feature is now offered in early access by means of the Firebase Alpha system. It makes use of Google’s machine studying to automatically provide the ideal knowledge to each and every user.
Ratings and reviews
Ratings and Reviews in the Play Console now offer you new strategies to assistance you comprehend a game’s ratings with views across diverse kind aspects, the capacity to access and query a game’s rating history, and new historical rating metrics.
Google also refreshed “preregistration” in the Google Play Store to be more beneficial. And now devs can use app campaigns for preregistration to develop higher excitement for a game in open testing, or to drive these in the Play Store.
The new Play Integrity API is created to assistance developers fight abuse, such as cheating and unauthorized early access, by assisting developers to decide if they’re interacting with a genuine game binary, installed by Google Play, on a genuine Android device.
The progressive downloading tech can assistance minimize friction, Hartrell mentioned.
“At Google, we have this old principle that fast is better than slow,” Hartrell mentioned. “Fundamentally, if the product that they’re using delivers on their needs faster, it’s going to be a better experience. And so that’s definitely a mantra to answer your question around what we do to reduce friction.”
Hartrell mentioned Google has made gains in the location of stopping abuse.
“Those are a pretty useful tools for developers,” Hartrell mentioned. “That innovation is just another example of how we continue to invest in that space. You want to have some way of knowing that the device your game or your app is running on is the genuine device, and that the account that the user is using is a genuine account. And so I think just providing developers with more insights, with more capability, so they can choose how they want to deal with the abuse, is a big part of our philosophy. And it’s worked out pretty well.”
Last week, 36 states sued Google Play for not possessing an open sufficient ecosystem and violating antitrust laws.
As for the openness of Android, Hartrell mentioned, “The openness of the Android ecosystem is demonstrative of our philosophy. It remains the open source project that we launched many years ago. It is about openness, about freedom, about about choice. And we’ve been really satisfied with what’s been going on.”